Central register

Last updated: July 2021

Data should be collated in a central register

  • Beneficial ownership disclosures should be collated and held within a central register.

Having a centralised beneficial ownership register means that people and authorities can access information on the beneficial ownership of companies through one central location in a standardised format. This is a prerequisite for effective use of beneficial ownership data by all user groups, as it removes some of the practical and cost barriers to accessing and analysing beneficial ownership information.

Maintaining a central beneficial ownership register is one of three complementary approaches identified as best practice by the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Analysis of FATF country evaluations clearly demonstrates the importance of central registers for reducing money laundering risk: countries maintaining a central register – as opposed to relying on other decentralised approaches where companies and other institutions hold beneficial ownership data – perform better against the FATF’s requirement to ensure timely access to adequate, accurate, and up-to-date information on the beneficial ownership of companies.